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Credits: Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

Credits: Sara A. Fajardo/CRS

A calendar of events for the spiritual preparation celebrating of the independence of South Sudan on 9 July 2011. The bishops of Sudan have asked for parishes throughout the world and people of all faiths to join them in praying for peace.

Saturday, 28 May

Eucharistic procession and launch of the campaign

Sunday, 29 May

Day of Reconciliation: Preaching on reconciliation at all levels. Mending differences through human dignity with events such as washing of the feet, lighting a candle and prayers of the faithful.

Monday, 6 June

Schools programme: School children and young people in song, with poems and drawing competitions on the theme of independence, new life, peace and reconciliation.

Saturday, 11 June

Pentecost Vigil: Adoration gratitude and petition for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, 12 June

Pentecost celebrations. A tree is planted in each diocese as a symbol of new birth. From this day onwards till 9 July, families, institutions, schools, parishes are encouraged to plant a tree. As we plant these trees, we ask God to bless us and all of creation.

Friday, 24 June

Day of fasting and prayer for peace and reconciliation. Adoration in all parishes.

Wednesday, 29 June

Begin novena on the Feast of St. Peter & St. Paul. Prayer for Peace in South Sudan. Suggested time: 5:00 pm in each parish. Dioceses and parishes may adapt the prayer according to the circumstances and needs.

Thursday, 7 July

End of novena

Friday, 8 July 

Prayer and cleaning day . Purification and prayer, celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation. Cleaning hearts, minds, homes and streets- clean your house.

Evening: We gather in the spirit and tradition of our ancestors to celebrate this night of our ‘Passover’. We come together as families, neighbours, friends and religious communities to share a meal together. We will tell stories and light candles as a symbol of being led out of darkness, poverty, illiteracy, tribalism and corruption into newness of life.

Saturday, 9 July

Civic celebrations of independence day

Sunday, 10 July 

Thanksgiving Mass for the new nation. The Mass will have an integrated baptism ceremony within the liturgy while celebrating the new nation. We are sprinkled with water as symbol of being cleansed from our sinfulness, our egoism, our selfishness, and our hatred. We baptize our children with water, a sign of new life. Today we baptize our new country and commit it to the protection of the sacredness of all life.